Computational Photography, What is That?

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Digital photography is developing so fast in many directions they have to invent big words to describe the explosion.

Computational Photography, they say, extends digital photography by providing the capability to record much more information than conventional digital cameras, to produce new forms of visual information such as wide field-of-view images, multi-spectral images, depth images and more.

“They” here means the wizards of Future Image Inc., PMA, and the Association of Imaging Executives (AIE). They have announced the newest additions to their 6Sight – Future of Imaging executive conference to be held Nov. 8 and 9 in Monterey, Calif.

The conference emphasizes breakthrough technologies and key insights into the future of digital cameras, digital video, multimedia, web video and other new directions for imaging and digital photography.

The new sessions include an in-depth examination of the revolutionary new field of Computational Photography, a session exploring future consumer relationships with imaging technology, and a panel on next-generation electronic displays.

One of these applications is Image-Based Relighting where, by collecting multiple images of an object under varying lighting conditions, the reflectance of the object can be estimated for each pixel. This allows not only changing the lighting interactively under user control, but also being able to change the apparent material properties of the object, revealing surface detail not otherwise visible.

Another application involves turning the physical functions of optical lenses into software modules. This provides the ability to change the focus in an everyday picture after the photograph is taken, among other revolutionary developments.


Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.